A goal in residential aged care is for residents to enjoy a range of meals throughout the day which includes delicious main meals, mid-meals and drinks. As our appetite reduces, so the need to provide nutritious snacks becomes even more important. The mid meal should be appealing and provide the nutrients that are likely to have been missed by having a smaller serve at the main meal.
When a resident commences a modified texture diet (soft, minced and moist or pureed) it is very common to find that mid meals are no longer offered! This can result in weight loss and malnutrition. Sometimes the only options offered are monotonous- the same fruit and custard or yoghurt every day with no variety. This soon becomes very unappealing and the resident's appetite can fall even further.
We know malnutrition is high amongst those needing modified diets, so the mid meals are even more important to their overall quality of life. It is important to continually look at interesting ways to present the main meals with molds, piping, layering, but it is also important to give the humble mid-meals the consideration that our residents deserve.
About the Author Nutrition Professionals Australia is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who consult to aged care homes across Australia. They have more than 40 years of combined experience in a range of roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.
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